Microsoft Invests in Foursquare, Google and Cisco Cross-License Patents
February 6th, 2014 By: John Rath
Microsoft invests $15 million in Foursquare and licenses location data, and Google and Cisco agree to a broad cross-licensing agreement to avoid unnecessary patent lawsuits.
Microsoft invests $15 million in Foursquare. While most of the attention this week was on Satya Nadella becoming the next Microsoft CEO and the company’s future, Microsoft (MSFT) was investing in the cloud – putting $15 million into location app Foursquare. The 4 year agreement makes Microsoft the largest licensee of the Foursquare places database, which has over 60 million entries and 5 billion check-ins. The investment from Microsoft closely follows a late 2013 Series D fundraising round that netted $35 million. Foursquare’s blog states, “when you use Microsoft devices powered by the Windows and Windows Phone operating systems and products like Bing, places will be enhanced by Foursquare – to provide contextually-aware experiences and the best recommendations of any service in the world.”
Google and Cisco Cross-license patents. Cisco (CSCO) and Google (GOOG) announced that the two companies have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies. The agreement allows each company to extract significant value from its patent portfolio through a license to the other’s portfolio and by helping to reduce the risk of future litigation. Both Cisco and Google are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a leading advocacy group for patent reform. ”In today’s overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits,” said Dan Lang, Cisco’s Vice President of Intellectual Property. “This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation.”
Investment in intangible assets by companies has significant impacts on productivity and this move by Microsoft comes as a solid proof of the same.